Coming Alive, Decoding Jealousy and Reclaiming Our Joy with Dr. Joli Hamilton

Coming Alive, Decoding Jealousy and Reclaiming Our Joy with Dr. Joli Hamilton

“Jealousy is the feeling that arises when we fear or anticipate the interruption of that love, or that bond. We need it, and we go into a survival mechanism when we fear this. So when we fear an interruption of the love bond, we can revert right back to our baby state. We can go right to the primal brain and fear for our very survival.” - Dr. Joli Hamilton 

Jealousy is a normal emotion to experience, but all too often we dismiss it or not talk about it, or we use it as this proof of love. That is going to change, because today on Brave By Design, my expert guest pulls back the curtain on jealousy so that we can come alive, reclaim our joy and stop letting this natural emotion hold us back in life.

Dr. Joli Hamilton earned her doctoral degree at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Depth Psychology with a specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. 

She is a professor of psychology and faculty at the Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment, where she teaches intimacy and communication skills, kink and BDSM for educators and therapists among other courses.

She is a psychologist whose life has always revolved around teaching in non-traditional settings. Rather than working on what is “wrong” in a situation, Joli approaches every question and emotion with an attitude of curiosity, looking for the ways she can help you to find your own answers, providing practical, well-researched support for your personal exploration of sexual and relationship issues at every step of your process.

This episode with Joli must be listened to, perhaps more than once, because the insights she has to provide on something we all experience as humans can quite literally be game-changing. As always, let Joli and I know your biggest takeaways from this episode, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Connect with Joli: https://www.jolihamilton.com/ 

Remember to hit SUBSCRIBE wherever you listen to podcasts!

Are you a service-based business who wants to build your brand and get booked solid? Learn how podcasting helped Laura do that over at: podcastbrandlab.com

What You’ll Hear In This Episode: 

  • What is happening with the fear we have of being “too much” as women [5:47]

  • How she says she truly experienced joy for the first time at the age of 33 [15:36]

  • Jealousy defined, and how people often use it to control others [25:16]

  • What tools are available to process the feelings that jealousy brings with it [30:29]

  • Why jealousy is an essential emotion, and the joy that can actually come from having it [33:20]

  • What “compersion” is, and the way you can use it to balance your emotions [38:51]

  • Joli’s tips and strategies for helping a partner deal with jealousy [45:36]

 
Additional Links & Resources:

Joli’s LinkedIn, Instagram & Facebook   

Her Book, Project Relationship: The Entrepreneur’s Action Plan for Passionate, Sustainable Love

The myth of the “too much” woman (Brave By Design Episode) 

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/bravebydesign)

Transcript
Joli Hamilton:

Jealousy is the feeling that arises when we fear or anticipate the interruption of that love of that bond. We need it. We go into survival mechanism when we fear this right? So when we fear an interruption of the love bond, we can revert right back to baby state we can like go right to primal brain and fear for our very survival.

Laura Khalil:

Welcome to brave by design. I'm your host, Laura Khalil. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking big, exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from thought leaders and pioneers in business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started. Hey, everyone, welcome to this episode of brave by design. We're going to be talking today to a woman who I just hit it off with when we met a couple of months ago, we have been talking in the interim. I think this is going to be such a juicy and delicious conversation with Dr. Julie Hamilton. She is a research psychologist, best selling author TEDx speaker, and a s e c t certified sex educator. Her most recent research considers what romantic jealousy can help us learn about ourselves. She has spent the last two decades studying and reimagining what love can be if we open our imaginations to possibility. I'd love that, too. We help screen partnerships that are custom built for their authentic selves. No more shrinking, pretending or hiding required. Whoa, whoa, whoa, Joey, welcome to the show. Whoa,

Joli Hamilton:

I'm so glad to be here. I'm so glad to be here. And when you when you read that I'm like jazz to do my own work again. Like, I gotta hop off because I need to go do that. Exactly said that exact thing.

Laura Khalil:

I love that last line. No more shrinking, pretending or hiding? Because there are so many people in relationships who are playing so small. Yes,

Joli Hamilton:

yep. We talk about small in business. But we forget that sometimes that starting at home.

Unknown:

So take me back. Okay, how because this is heavy stuff. You know, people don't

Laura Khalil:

normally get into this kind of work. They'll graduate from college. And they're like, you know, what I want to do? I want to go research why relationships are so challenging. So like, tell us a little about how you got to this point. Okay.

Joli Hamilton:

the very, very beginning was that my parents screwed up everything and loved them very, very dearly. But they screwed up everything about how I knew how to relate super dysfunctional household, right. And my parents were a little different in that they had some psychological awareness. So my dad had, like, taught me what the word codependent meant, and taught me that it was a good thing. Oh, good, right.

Unknown:

So when I

Joli Hamilton:

This was when I was like, seven 810 12. So I grew up thinking that relationships were supposed to look sort of ingrown, I thought that you were supposed to find somebody who quote unquote, would put up with your, and if they did, then stay with them. And so I grew up and I married somebody and I shoved all of my potential into a bag and I sort of dragged it behind myself.

Unknown:

But I know God use it

Joli Hamilton:

did not use it. And he wasn't a bad guy. He was just a guy. But we while we bashed the heck out of each other, partially because I was miserable. Right? And not being myself not studying not like going out and being who I needed to be in the world. But I was upholding the family credo like, find somebody that will put up with you and just, you know, put your head down and have a life with them.

Laura Khalil:

Joey Let me ask you a question. What was the fear if you had gone into that bag you're dragging behind you have all your potential and you had pulled one thing out? What was the fear of becoming and being more of yourself? What were the imagined consequences?

Joli Hamilton:

You say that and I get this watch this tidal wave comes up through my chest because I have been terrified my whole life of being too much for people

Laura Khalil:

to that was our first episode. Too much.

Unknown:

Woman Wow. Oh my god.

Joli Hamilton:

Okay, like

Unknown:

tiny about that.

Joli Hamilton:

I thought that I was too much and I thought that was a given. I literally was too much. And so if I tried to apply any more of myself, so I cut chopped off all these pieces of myself to try to make myself fit in. I wasn't cookie cutter. I definitely wasn't I was still a weirdo. I still did things my own way. I had four children by birth during my 20s I have seven altogether now. I did all sorts of weird stuff at birth babies at home and I homeschooled my kids before it was a thing, and that's great, but I was still chopped off. I was All these pieces have been cut off. And what it meant is I showed up in my relationship as a very angry woman. I was bitter. I was angry, I blamed him for my hurts. Was he perfect? No, he was not, we definitely hurt each other. I have the receipts to prove it, but angry all the time, my older children can attest to that. And I have a lot of backlog to make up for like, wow, that's what happens when you try to force a person who has potential. And I mean, me, when I tried to force that person into a some strange version of what I imagined the world wanted me to be. I became this Yeah, gross version of myself.

Laura Khalil:

So I know there are women who are listening right now who are walking around with a fear of being too much. That's how they've seen their lives, especially for those of us who are like women entrepreneurs, or we're, you know, rising up in our fields more, we've been single for a long time. And we maybe feel kind of like, well, no man can handle me. What would you tell the too much woman about herself that she doesn't realize?

Joli Hamilton:

I think the thing that we make the mistake about first is we imagine what correct is, so she's imagining that she's too much she has heard she actually has verification, some people have told her she's too much. The trouble is that what she has imagined is enough, what's right, what's correct, isn't actually valid either. When people tell you, you're too much, you start to imagine a version of what not too much would be and then you try to be that it will still be too much in those people's eyes, those people who are willing to throw that label on you, they're gonna find you to be too much no matter what you do. So screw that. I would have those women look very closely at what they have imagined to be a proper woman coming up through the ranks of properly powerful woman. So because I'm not picturing these as like shrinking violets, we are powerful. We do know that we can do stuff, I got tons of stuff done, I was convinced her I was a persuader, I started lots of businesses when I was in that marriage, because I was always trying to do something new. But I would do it and try to be presentable, I would try to find appeal. But deep down, my sense of self worth was tied to this label of too much. So every time I tried to show up, I was also holding back. So try to buy this full version of myself, which was, like, so so capable, and at the same time holding back so the sensation that comes up in my body that I'm guessing there are women who can totally relate to this right now is of both being pushed forward and pulled backward at the same time. And it results in this twisting sensation in the center. like wow, okay, I can't keep doing this. And yet we can we have enormous reservoirs of continuing to twist and twist and twist, fit and fit and fit.

Laura Khalil:

And it is so painful. And it is to your point, infuriating, angering it is self disrespecting, you know, to our own personal code of it's not really I don't know if it's ethics is the right word, but our own who we are, it's so we're just disrespecting ourselves. And the way I kind of when I hear you talking about that, what I was what I was seeing, is I am imagining this woman who is like, swimming through the water, and she's just moving gracefully towards her goals. But she's got 1000 pound lead weight on her foot. And so she can keep her head up. But she can never really get anywhere. Yeah, yeah. Because she, she's trapped.

Joli Hamilton:

She's trapped. And she hasn't so often and this definitely happened to me. It was the weight of all of those two matches all of those please change yourself. Please be different. I mean, my my first husband sent me to therapy four times. I love therapy. But it wasn't just me right? Like it was all the way change this change this change this from a million directions, parents and friends and employers and whatever. But I was the one who tied it to my ankle. They offered the weight, but I tied it on willingly. That was great news for me. I turned 33 and I was like, Oh, I tie that on. Hang on. I'll just cut it loose. I did and wow. Did my heart.

Laura Khalil:

Oh, okay. Tell us about that. So you were like, I'm not putting up with other people's expectations of me anymore. I'm miserable, I presume is why you cut it off. And then things fall apart.

Joli Hamilton:

I cut it off because my life finally made sense my room marriage was finally feeling pretty good. And then I found myself on a dance floor had an A, what I call a numinous experience with a friend of the family and realized, oh my god, I love so big that I love this man. Oh god, what am I going to do? And I tossed my whole life into the wood chipper. So it wasn't just like, Wow, it wasn't just a grind. For me. It wasn't just like, oh, I've ground myself into misery. It was the grinding, grinding, grinding. And then something happened. It was something that I absolutely could have left there. It could have been that that was just one crazy night. And I had this experience of washed over me and wow, that's what being alive would feel like. But for whatever reason, in that moment, for me, I had this sacred moment of opening to what is what could be, what love is and what it could be. It was like a full download. Oh, and instead of deciding to pack it back up the next morning, I didn't, I was like, You know what, I'm just gonna, I'm going to go for it. I'm going to figure out what happens next. I don't know. I don't know what happens next. That was my brave moment was I don't know what's going to happen. But I'm going I'm doing what

Laura Khalil:

I love two things, many things you mentioned. One is I finally had an experience of feeling alive. I'm so alive. Wow. And if you are listening to that, I'm going to just challenge the audience. If you are listening to that, and you have not had an experience of feeling alive, you need to push yourself a little further.

Joli Hamilton:

And I was doing something that I had never done before. And it's gonna sound simple to lots of people. But I had never set foot in a bar before I was 33 years old. I'd never been in a bar. I liked to dance. But I'd never been like on a crowded bar dance floor. I wasn't drunk. I've had a couple drinks. But it wasn't that it was. It was just I was way outside my comfort zone. And there was music and there was this pounding. And for me, it was something about that moment and doing something Am I might have been jumping out of a plane when this happened. Or I might have been just enrolling in my first college class. It could have been anything. It happened to be this. It was something unusual. And when I felt it, I was like, Oh,

Unknown:

crap.

Joli Hamilton:

That's what being alive is supposed to feel like, Oh, I am in so much trouble. Because I'm 33 years old, and I've never been alive. Yeah, okay, well, I don't want to waste the rest of my time.

Laura Khalil:

I just have to say this is bringing up so much for me, because I remember being in a similar scenario when I was 2627. I had been married for a number of years, in a very, very codependent marriage. And I began to sort of get outside of my shell. And I began to do things I'd never done on my own. For the first time as forever. For the first time, I went from, you know, my parents house to getting married. So, and I experienced that feeling that you're talking about that feeling of joy, that feeling of elation, that feeling of very, very deep rooted presence. Yes. And I thought, Oh, just like you.

Unknown:

Yeah. Oh, I

Laura Khalil:

don't want to go back to that other thing. That's the walking dead. Yes, that's not not reality. And to your point, when you cut off those shackles, and you break the chain, do not expect to stay where you are friends expect to move. Moving means we leave things behind. Yeah,

Unknown:

yep. I'm getting worked up. Okay. It was scary.

Joli Hamilton:

It was. I had four children under the age of 10. When I did this, and I didn't have a job. I had just sunk my entire retirement account into a gym, that I stupidly put my husband's name on. I lost everything. I managed to keep the kids the halftime, I had to go from being a full time mom to a halftime mom. Yeah, I had to allow myself to completely disintegrate and then create what would become someone I couldn't have imagined from there. It wasn't a case for me of goal setting. Like I didn't wake up one day and say, You know what, I would like a doctorate in psychology and I would like to help people transform their relationships. So I better go learn this. For me, it was disintegrating, it was falling apart. And then remembering, sowing all those bits of myself that I had cut off re I remembered myself. I was no longer dismembered. I was a whole self. And that took a decade. So I had to be willing to be disintegrated. And it was terrifying and it had an impact on my family. My children are now 13 to 21. And I spend time talking to them about like, Well, I know that my choice to come alive then means that you Had impact. So there's work to do around that constant consistent work to make sure that they feel supported because they went through it to our choices all impact each other. I lost businesses, I almost lost my house didn't wind up losing that in the end, because out of the generosity of an almost stranger, wow, it wound up being the disintegration, though. That became why I can do what I can do now. It was a nice stuff. It was the gross stuff.

Laura Khalil:

So Julie, here are a couple things I want to ask you. Because the audience is probably like getting scared. Right? Yeah. Probably listening to this. Yeah. So first, was it worth it? And two, were you experiencing joy presence and a lightness in those 10 years?

Joli Hamilton:

Okay, I'm going to answer the second question first, because oh, my God, so much joy. That's the thing. I was alive now. So what I was experiencing was no longer this flatlining. I was experiencing high highs and low lows. That was scary. For me. I was raised with the bipolar mother. I knew that that was something I had tried to stay away from before. Was it worth it? Absolute freaking loosely worth it. And it wasn't 10 years. All the same. It was a 10 year process. It's actually been 12 years now. It was a 10 year process for me to get to a spot where I said, Oh, I am completely transformed. There is not a cell or a part of my thinking that hasn't been changed. But along the way, I experienced profound joy. I accomplished things that I loved. I started a whole business, I wound up starting my own gym after losing my first one. Oh, wow. I started another CrossFit and worked with some of the most important people in my whole life transformed some lives, like people who still call me and write me letters now, seven years later. So no, it's not, the disintegration was actually allowing myself to become whatever, I had no idea. I went from being like the chubby kid who never could climb a rope to being a lead CrossFit trainer. Because I started, I could do anything I wanted, like, whatever. And now I have a doctorate. It never occurred to me that I could do that. It never did. I wasn't raised in that kind of family where you think I'm going to grow up and I'm going to go to college, and it's going to look a certain way for me. I had to fall apart so that I could become something else. And God Yeah, there was so much joy along the way. So much pleasure. I can't even

Laura Khalil:

you know, I feel I feel very similarly, I will say from 27 to almost 41. Now, there is to look back, I would say and watch the evolution is really kind of like, Oh, damn, girl, look what you did. Oh, she's like, You're brave, holy crap. And so just to say for people who are considering making big, life altering changes, that change is one moment in time and what comes next is really going to be the journey that you're on for your life. And it's it can be very fun and scary. And all of the above. So gently, this brings me to jealousy. Because when we originally started talking months ago, and I just have to tell the audience like I'm obsessed with you. I wish we lived in the same town. You live in a town next to one of my sisters. And I am like I'm coming to visit. I can't. I'm

Joli Hamilton:

sorry. My summer. It has a moveable week for when Laura.

Laura Khalil:

When is she going? So? I really when we started talking about jealousy, I was super interested in hearing more and understanding more about jealousy now. So first of all, can you tell us how you got into the research around jealousy?

Joli Hamilton:

Yeah, I got into it because it's been literally following me. So when I jumped off that cliff at 33, the person I fall in love with he said something to me said I love your passion and intensity for everything in life. And I wanted to symbolize that I wanted to put it I wanted to tattoo it on my body. So it did and this was before I knew about cultural appropriation. So I tattooed the kanji symbol for zeal, which was what the one recommended to me by my translator. It means passion and intensity for all of life. She said does it's also the Greek root for the word jealousy at the same time, so I tattooed on my back, did not think about this then and immediately entered immediately days later entered into a polyamorous triad.

Laura Khalil:

Okay, hang on. What is that the audience might not know. What is polyamory and what is the triad?

Joli Hamilton:

Okay, so polyamory is having consensual mutual love relationships. So at one time, you have more than one romantic or love relationship. And a triad. A triad means that there happened to be three people involved. Two of those. Oh,

Unknown:

each other

Joli Hamilton:

not necessarily. So our configuration was a V, what we would call a V or hinge. So one person was the hinge person. And then there were two partners. I was one of the partners, his current wife was one, we were best friends. We were very, very close friends, his wife and I, this was all done with intent and consent. So the core of polyamory and how I help people differentiate it from monogamy. And, and cheating is, it's about honesty, it could look like a billion different things. But at the core, there's honesty. So the very first thing I did when I had feelings for this person who was married was tell my husband, the very next thing I did was tell his wife, I didn't know what was going to come of it. I had no idea. I didn't know the word polyamory. I didn't know what was gonna happen. But I was like, Whoa, can't have these feelings and hide them. That's wrong. That felt wrong to me. And I knew it lead to trouble. So when I told everybody, my husband lost his mind, we got divorced very quickly. That was his voice. That was his prerogative. I totally I get that

Laura Khalil:

because you two were not polyamorous.

Joli Hamilton:

We were not. We were not okay. But this person who had fallen in love with his wife was like, Oh, cool. Well, we've always had an unconventional relationship. Come on in. That sounds great. So I did, I moved into their house, I started raising our children together. And we had the best of intentions, we really did. We wanted to be three friends starting a family together. And we tried really hard. We didn't know enough. And I didn't know how to seek out the information I needed. So it was a hot mess. That's for sure. I hurt people. They hurt me like it was messy. And one of the first things that I learned was that jealousy is gonna come up no matter what, even if people say I don't feel jealousy. Jealousy is a complex emotion. So jealousy isn't just one thing. We can't say, Oh, I just feel jealous, or I don't feel jealous, we actually have to pop the hood and look at what's underneath it. And underneath it lies anger, grief, sadness, and fear.

Laura Khalil:

Sorry, let me interrupt you for one second, when you talk about it as a complex emotion, for the audience who doesn't know what that means? I guess that means it has multiple components to it. But it's not like just anger.

Joli Hamilton:

Right? So a research psychologist would name anger, a simple emotion or primal emotion, I mean arises and it doesn't appear to have any constituent emotions. It just is anger. We don't know how to reduce it further. It's sort of an atomic level or molecular level emotion. But jealousy isn't one thing. It's comprised of a bunch of things, and people feel it in different ways. So someone might feel jealousy coming out as rageful violent anger. Those are the jealousy stories we tend to hear. And in fact, jealousy is one of the only emotions that we have excuse murder for, we excuse massive bodily injury for it's terrifying. So when I wanted to write my dissertation on jealousy, it wasn't like, yeah, I want to write it on jealousy. This is going to be fun. It was like being dragged to the altar, like, okay, you're gonna marry your because everybody says, you're gonna marry your dissertation topic for at least three years. You have to this is what you're doing. And I was like, I don't want to do it already picked me. You can't talk to something on your body and think you're gonna escape it later.

Laura Khalil:

If you already made you made the choice before you even knew you'd made it. Exactly.

Joli Hamilton:

This is why I'm so I'm a young young psychologist. So I believe deeply in how the unconscious impacts us, not just our personal unconscious, but the collective unconscious. I believe that I was put in a position to choose to experience jealousy in some unique ways. And then to ask questions about jealousy and unique ways so that I could add a little bit of knowledge about jealousy. It needs to be talked about. we dismiss jealousy as if it's something we should be ashamed of. That's not helpful. Anything we put in the shame box. We all know that's not good. That's not gonna help. Or we use jealousy as proof that someone loves us.

Unknown:

And now Oh,

Joli Hamilton:

yeah, right. All the songs. Think of the millions of songs you've heard where jealousy is right at the core of them. Dr. Maya Angelou has the perfect quote for this. Jealousy in Love is like salt in food. A little bit helps increase the savor but too much spoils the dish. So we do want to use jealousy we like to we humans, we enjoy it. Jealousy one of its constituent emotions can be arousal, even sexual arousal. If you've ever you know, imagined your partner having sex with someone else to get off, you may have been playing with jealousy. That's normal is normal, but we dismiss it we tend to dismiss it or not talk about it, or we use it as this proof of love, at which point it becomes. It is like a match. It's not necessarily dangerous, but what we do with that match could become dangerous, right? So if someone uses their jealousy to justify controlling another person. Here's the problem if someone uses their jealousy, to require themselves to like to give up everything, like uses it against themselves, that's what is jealousy to.

Laura Khalil:

Let's dig into those jealousy to control another person. Yeah, what does that look like? Okay,

Joli Hamilton:

this one is the most common. Jealousy is an emotion, which means it's in me, it's created inside of me. And yeah, jealousy is an emotion that we often will attribute to someone out there. So we often will require someone else or say, or try to require someone else to change their behavior so that we don't feel jealous, right? It's not a solid foundation, unfortunately. Because when we ask someone else to change their behavior, so that our feelings change, we're actually handing them a way to manipulate us.

Unknown:

And

Joli Hamilton:

in a messy relationship, this could look like this. I say to my boyfriend, you can't text any girl without me knowing I need to have your phone codes, all of it. Okay, cool. Maybe that's fine, except now, and this. This doesn't mean you can't do this. But remember that now he also knows that a way he could bother you is to be texting girls, without telling you if your relationship doesn't have a lot of other solid communication patterns, and a lot of give and take and a lot of dialogue about how that looks and why you want the behavior to be this way. And then what the other piece like how do you behave differently? If all those other things aren't in place? Yeah, you have just you've just handed someone the keys to bugging you, or hurting you. Right?

Unknown:

Is that always what happens out?

Laura Khalil:

Here are my triggers. Here are the things that bugged me, I'm going to give them to you want to turn the ignition on?

Joli Hamilton:

Yeah, go right ahead. And this happens, I find often early in relationships. And this is why I think it's a big problem. There are a million ways to negotiate how you handle your monogamy, or your polyamory, right that like yours is going to be yours. monogamy is not one thing, by the way. Like if you think polyamory is complicated, just remember, so is monogamy, there's a million ways you actually negotiate your own monogamy. There is no standard set of rules, even though we we wish there were but there really isn't, we create it. So when we create that very, very early on, it's often through these implicit contracts that we make with each other. They're not things that we explicitly say, it's the million little subtle, looking away, turning our heads snubbing somebody using the silent treatment for an evening to get our weights, all of that stuff starts to create the pattern in our relationship that establishes what quote unquote, the rules are. That's when we set up these codes. And we tell people how they can hurt us later. And that's often in the first you know, that two to three months of a relationship.

Laura Khalil:

Really? Yeah,

Joli Hamilton:

yeah. So how well do you know someone in the first two to three months? I know I've been in relationships with people where I'm like, Oh, actually, I didn't know them for years. For real. It takes time. those first few weeks, even how you establish the norms, you are norming with your new partner, you always are you're norming, you're setting up the standards, what are the rules going to be? When I talk to monogamous people about jealousy? I like to ask them, so you know, how do you establish the rules in your and they're like, oh, he knows the rules. He knows the rules, like, well, when did you have those conversations? And after a few minutes of digging, usually I get a look, it's like, Oh, you know what never had those conversations. I relied on the idea that my imagination and his and I'm using the you know, cisgender hetero typical sure relationship here, I imagined that our imaginations were the same. And I never verified and they're not there. So. So not even if they're super, super close, we are just individuals. And actually, that's one of the ways we can move away from codependency is to remember that our partner has their own imaginal realm. They have their own imagination. It's not just partner as other in a physical body. Its partner as Wow, they have their own Fantasy Life. They have their own imagination. They don't just have their own history. They have their own imagined reality and their imagined future. And that is complicated to try to share with someone. It's something you'll do over time. So the minute that we make the mistake of thinking that our partner is just like us. Yeah, that's when we're in trouble and I I know this from the inside like, Oh, I imagined young has a great quote. We imagine that others psychology has just like us. It's not it's just not we've got to move past that.

Laura Khalil:

Yeah, and that is for anyone listening to this single dating monogamous polyamorous or Whatever you are in between. That is one of the most important takeaways that I have learned on my journey, even by the way, in business, yes is to remember whenever we walk into a room with someone, you don't know, how they think you don't know how they move through things, how they process, what their dreams are their aspirations and goals. So this is important with all human relations, it doesn't really you know, anyone. Now, a few things that I want to dig into. There is a lot of there's a very common belief among monogamous folks that polyamory creates jealousy. Yes. And I want to I want you to talk to us about that. So are monogamous people less jealous are polyamorous people more jealous? what's actually going on there? Okay.

Joli Hamilton:

The reason I chose to study my I did my research study of my first one on jealousy in the polyamorous community because polyamorous people put themselves in the way of jealousy, like they, like open the front door. And they're like, well, I guess. They allow it into their spaces and their lives, with at least some level of consciousness, because as soon as you say, I think I want to have more than one partner, there is some burgeoning awareness that there could be at least jealousy. So there is an ability to conceive of it. monogamous people, I have not found any evidence that monogamous people are less jealous, nor are they more protected from jealousy. And in fact, I have a research study in the field right now questioning exactly that. Because what happens when we don't look at something? What happens when we take an emotion, any emotion, and we imagine that we've protected ourselves from it through a set of rules, or through a set of conversations, or by just never saying it, that was my Pro, my super pro move in my early polyamory we'll just never say the word jealousy, and that'll work fine. When we do that, we are asking to get clobbered over the back of the head, we're gonna get whacked by it when we're not looking. And it might not happen for years or might not happen in your relationship. But to think that we can ever protect ourselves from a human emotion that is just present, it is noticed in babies as early as six months old. Really, really,

Unknown:

really.

Joli Hamilton:

So if we think we can protect ourselves by pretending it doesn't exist, or by making a set of rules, we're mistaken. So what I see as the differences isn't whether there's more or less jealousy in polyamory, or monogamy, but what people do with it, what they do when it shows up. And so by and large, I found that polyamorous people are more conscious about, about talking about their jealousy, about figuring out tools to use to work with their jealousy. And there's a general conversation like you can go and find a book on how to deal with jealousy in polyamorous relationships. And you can find books for monogamy about jealousy, but they tend to be how to cure it, how to fix it, how to make it go away. I take a different tactic, I don't believe we can cure an emotion. that's essential. I take an archetypal approach. And what that means is that anything that is essential to the human condition that we find, say in babies, any emotion like that, we don't want to cure it. Because that would actually be dehumanizing ourselves, we'd be losing a part of our humanity. Instead, I want to help people learn how to dance with that emotion. What do we do with it, come into relationship with it, figure out what tools you need to have in place. And yes, what rules you want to have in place, it's okay to have rules, like working with your jealousy doesn't mean I say I just give up, I'm just gonna have to let my partner do whatever they want. And polyamory doesn't mean that either. You get to negotiate for everything. But I like to think of jealousy as something we actually need to invite closer to us. And when we do, some of us will find out that there's actually a lot of joy hidden in jealousy. Jealousy has an opposite, and it has some some joy in its arousal capacity.

Laura Khalil:

Okay, wow. All right. So I've just been taking notes few things. Okay. Surely, this I imagined for the audience is going to come as like a shock. There are certain emotions that are essential. Jealousy is essential. Excuse me. What? Yeah, jealousy is an essential emotion. break that down. Why?

Joli Hamilton:

Okay, so there are a couple of arguments. One is an evolutionary argument, I don't totally subscribe to what we do need to take it into account. If you take an evolutionary psychology perspective, you would say that the passing of genetic material is important, and that people who have sperm would want to protect their their passage of and the investment that they make. So you, you think of sperm in this case as very valuable, right, and the DNA material. Now I don't buy that because we also have a prefrontal cortex. And we also didn't know what created babies 1000s of years. Go. So I'm not totally sure that that holds a lot of water. However, even if you buy it, let's say that it's essential in that way, I tend to think of it this way, we do have a need for caregivers, when we're born we are born before we are able to care for ourselves because we're bipedal, which means our pelvis can only we can only extract a human from it at about the 40 week mark, which means we come out so unfinished. We need a caregiver, in order to bond with our caregiver in some way, there needs to be feeling emotions have a purpose. So this bonding process that happens very, very early, possibly to mom, possibly to other caregivers, possibly to a whole host of caregivers, if we were lucky enough to be raised in a culture that has a village to raise us, it could be many caregivers, but there needs to be some bonding. Jealousy is the feeling that arises when we fear or anticipate the interruption of that love of that bond. We need it. We go into survival mechanism when we fear this, right. So when we fear an interruption of the love bond, we can revert right back to baby state, we can like go right to primal brain, and fear for our very survival. So that makes it essential. And yet, also potentially dangerous, right? Because survival brain isn't a great place to spend a lot of time. That doesn't feel good.

Laura Khalil:

anticipating the interruption of the love bond. Yeah. Wow. And that, you know, when you talk about jealousy, and I think about moments where I've experienced jealousy, it is often that anticipatory fear that I'm going to lose something. Yes,

Joli Hamilton:

yeah. And jealousy can be real or imagined, the thing you're fearing does not have to have an objective, other presence. You might some people have a very vivid imagination. And they can create a third thing, just out of their imaginations. Jealousy is always gonna form us the shape of a triangle, where it will be between entities when I want something you have, and it's just between you and me, I want to be like you, I want to have your phone, I want your job, whatever is envy, it is a problem. And we can work with it the same way we work with jealousy. And it's a different problem, though, because jealousy is a triangle. So you have me and you and now if I imagine that there's an interruption in our love bond, it's really easy for me to forget that I'm in relationship with you. And so I could keep focusing on okay, how do I want to maintain this love bond, but instead what happens whack my head snaps over here, I see the third thing either in my mind's eye or in real. And now I want to affect it. I want to do something. And so all these other emotions, some people experience sadness, some people experience rage, some people experience terror, some people experience grief, like just this sort of anticipatory brief, like they give up before it even gets started. But they focus the energy on the interrupter. The interrupter then has an experience of jealousy too. They're like, ah, I, I'm not I didn't wait. I don't know whether that's the rule I want to play in your life, your story. Right? Ah, it's so complicated. Because this triangle, then each person can be looking at each other person, and not seeing what's really happening. Because we start to create stories around it. And we can destroy our whole lives over this. And people do it all the time.

Laura Khalil:

And we see it to your earlier point, I can only see it through my lens, my psychology, I don't know your psychology, I don't know the third person's or that triangulation, if there's a third person that I don't know what their psychology is, like, you know, and so we just impose our beliefs on others and keep spiraling. So first of all, I want to talk to things I want to really make sure we get to in this interview, because is it not obvious we could talk forever We can tell the two things. What is the hidden joy and jealousy? What does that the opposite? Maybe the complimentary opposite of jealousy that maybe we can work towards? And is that how we dance with it? Are there other ways to dance with jealousy? Instead of trying to cut it out of our lives? What do we do?

Joli Hamilton:

Yeah, okay, there are a few ways. So we'll open the toolbox afterwards. But first, jealousy has an opposite. And it got a name a while ago, back in the 70s. There were some really, you know, there were all kinds of funky people trying out all sorts of white people trying out non conventional love, right? indigenous cultures, by the way, and in fact, cultures and other cultures have had forms and polyamory since time immemorial. We did not invent this however, we did name a particular thing. It has an English word. Jealousy has an opposite. Its antonym is compersion. It was named by morning glory Zell. And there was Another person who also potentially contributed to it a little confusing, but compersion c o m p e r s i o n, okay? It just means feeling joy for another person's joy. Even if that joy excludes you, even if that joy has nothing to do with you, you allow yourself to feel joyful. If you think that's impossible, it's probably because you're thinking I don't want to watch my partner kiss somebody else. Cool. That's not a problem. You do feel compassion, though, because you have seen a dog licking up like a puppy, Chino, and yeah. So happy for them. Yes. But you know, that is compulsiveness, like rising up in you. So we can we can invite more of that feeling into our life. And what we do, we don't try to dispose of jealousy, we just allow the conversion to enter the playing field to so jealousy walks into the room. Okay, let me see if I can find some conclusion as well. So for me, that might look like my partner is standing across the room. And I noticed that he's talking to someone and I think that person's pretty hot. Now I'm starting to feel intimidated, and I don't even I'm making up a story. I don't even know, we're probably immersing, I'm still making up a story happens. And before I know what jealousy is there, and what I do is as soon as I feel it, for me, jealousy shows up behind my ears in like a little lightning bolt of heat. I tune into the body sensations and I go, Okay, what else is there? And for me, compassion comes in and stands next to it and says, Yeah, he's also talking to somebody, he's talking to a person he's happy, I can see the look on his face. I read the body language. I know he's enjoying this conversation. I don't even know they could be just talking about boring programming stuff. He's doing DevOps. I don't know, I don't want to talk about that. Great. Now compression has entered the room, and it can stand next to my jealousy and keep me from being a rageful. lunatic.

Unknown:

Awesome, right?

Joli Hamilton:

It's not the only tool, but I do think all of us can invite more compassion, we can't aim at something we don't know exists. So

Laura Khalil:

surely is it also kind of like, if I'm experiencing, let's say, in your example, I'm looking at my partner who's talking to us, you know, some beautiful woman, and I'm starting to feel it bubble up. Is there also within there a message for me that says, hey, Laura, what chances? In what ways? Are you not allowing yourself to put yourself out there? In what ways are you holding back and then projecting your anger or jealousy or whatever, on to someone else? I'm curious what you think about that.

Joli Hamilton:

So this is interesting, because this is where people sometimes interchange jealousy and envy, they're not the same emotion, however, they can happen. At the same time, I have been in a room where my husband is talking to a beautiful woman, I happen to be bisexual, so I am at that moment envious of him. I don't want him not to talk to her, I just want to be talking to her. Now, that could happen a million ways. But I find that example is very straightforward. When we notice that our partner has access to some part of the universe that we don't. Yeah, of course, that's going to invite envy into the picture. So that's envy. Yeah, that's envy. We want something they have, we don't want, we're not worried that the love bonds gonna be interrupted in and we're not worried that anything's gonna happen. We're like, yeah, this is all fine. But still, I have this feeling. The sensations in our body of envy and jealousy, they often are the same for people. I've been talking about this for years now. And people describe it very similarly. So it can be hard to tease it out. The good news is, the same tools work for both. So it's okay, I like to add some extra tools for working with each of them. But the basic toolkit is the same, we want to work on compassion, because compassion just reminds us that joy for another person's joy is pleasant, it's pleasurable. If you happen to follow Buddhist philosophy, you could turn to mudita. That's sympathetic joy, very similar. And just like, send that out into the world practice that. There are other ways though, you want to know how to dance with your jealousy. First off, learn how to notice it. Learn how to notice it, before you have the chance to project all that stuff out into the world. If you want to learn how to notice an emotion early, you've got to turn into the body you have to like you have to start paying attention to the earliest clues and they're always going to start as sensations in the body. Because we don't actually have a clear we don't know for sure whether our body creates our emotions or our emotions create our bodily states. I've heard arguments both ways. I don't know that we're going to have an answer for that lots of people think they have the answer, but I don't care. What I know is that they are very closely intertwined. And if I can learn how to identify the sensations of jealousy slash envy in my body, so look at its heat, its weight, its vibration is the color the way our vision changes, feel it allow yourself to ground into your body and feel it once you can identify it. Now you can work with it. There are lots of ways you can work with it. It starting with like looking for some joy allowing yourself to feel aroused. There's nothing wrong with tuning into something and saying, Oh, you know what, actually, I feel jealous. Let me imagine that I'm safe. In fact, let me try this on. Am I safe? Okay, maybe I am. Oh, that's kind of sexy. Interesting. Maybe you can't stay there for a long time. But boy, it's fun to play with. And it's a lot more fun than spinning up that story that says that your partner's a jerk. And you are worthless. That's right. Neither one of those things go anywhere. Good.

Laura Khalil:

Oh, totally. One more question. One more for the partners of the individuals who are experiencing jealousy. How do they best help their partner? negotiate that without it being a codependent, give me the keys to ramp you up type thing?

Joli Hamilton:

Yeah. So I think one of the first things is to start having conversations about jealousy as if it were normal, because it is jealousy is normal in any kind of relationship. Jealousy is even normal in say, our relationships with our children, I have adult children, I have experienced jealousy and envy towards them. having conversations that normalize, it makes it possible to have a an actual rational conversation about what we do with it, it won't necessarily stop the jealousy. It won't necessarily even resolve like the situation. But it will stop you from feeling shame about feeling jealous, because when we're very little, and we're and we are told not to like that we have to share and that we're bad if we don't share that packs, shame on to the whole thing. And again, like, we don't want to go there. So as soon as you can normalize it do so if you notice that your partner is experiencing jealousy. Try introducing conversations about jealousy from your side, in a very gentle, supportive and loving way. normalize the emotion, and then see what you can do to create a conversation that allows you to start having actual explicit expectations in your relationship, not rules. But what do you expect because it's the dashed expectations that get the totally undermine us. We can have the conversations that fix that we really can but it's going to take time so patients, lots of patients.

Unknown:

Oh, I just love this whole conversation. Dr. joley. Hamilton, how can people find you?

Joli Hamilton:

So the easiest place to find me is on my website. That's Julie Hamilton calm. So j. o Li Hamilton like the musical nice and easy. And I have a book title project relationship that you can find on Amazon. If people want to hear more about me That one's not specifically about jealousy, but it is for entrepreneurial women who want to have fantastic relationships at home.

Laura Khalil:

Thank you so much for joining us. I loved this conversation.

Joli Hamilton:

This was great. Thank you so much for having me.

Laura Khalil:

I want to thank you for joining me and remember to subscribe to your favorite app so you can stay up to date. And I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode. Please leave a review and comment on Apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You can find me on LinkedIn and I'm also on Instagram at force of badassery. All that information will be available in the show notes. Until next time, stay brave